Nursing homes need 'all the support they can get' to cope with virus

Nursing homes need 'all the support they can get' to cope with virus

The chairperson of Safeguarding Ireland, Patricia Rickard-Clarke has welcomed measures introducing Covid-19 control teams for nursing homes.

It was a struggle for some nursing homes to care for their patients as in a number of cases staff had been frightened to turn up to work, she said.

Ms Rickard-Clarke told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that there was an issue of information control and lack of knowledge that led some staff to fear they would be at risk.

Safeguarding Ireland was established to promote safeguarding of adults who may be vulnerable, protect them from all forms of abuse by persons, organisations and institutions and develop a national plan for promoting their welfare.

Controlling the spread of Covid-19 was a major challenge for nursing homes as many did not have private rooms and in some cases patients with dementia did not understand the need to self isolate, she explained.

There were also issues with personal protective equipment (PPE) and priority testing, she said.

Ms Rickard-Clarke welcomed the Covid-19 control teams appointed for nursing homes and the necessity of a Covid-19 plan for every nursing home.

“Nursing homes need all the advice and support they can get.”

Ms Rickard-Clarke urged people to keep in contact with patients in nursing homes by post or telephone.

“It is important that people keep in contact.”

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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